Whether you’re a professional photographer or a hobbyist, you can easily generate a passive income for yourself using your skill. Are you confused about where to start? Here’s my step-by-step guide including a list of options for you to check out and make money right away.
Do you think the only way photographers can make money is by taking photo sessions? In that case, introvert photographers who hate attending weddings and events would be out of jobs by now.
Luckily, photographers are not restricted to only one mode of income. You’d be surprised to know the numerous ways photographers make money using their skills and expertise.
Whether you’re an aspiring photographer still learning the ropes, or a professional hoping to diversify his income stream, you’ve landed on the right page.
From educating other people about the art to creating photo books and starting your own business, here’s my complete guide for how to make passive income as a photographer.
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How to Make Passive Income as a Photographer? A Complete Guide
Even if you’re an established self-employed photographer, you probably know that your commissions don’t do anything more than paying your bills.
Right now, you probably think you have no time to indulge in other paid activities outside of your day job. While that might be true, this guide to photography passive income will make you change your mind.
You see, passive income is not something you have to hustle for every day. It is something you create or invest in and then earn money from it while doing nothing.
Besides that, passive income also lets you diversify your income so that even if one stream goes into loss, you have a backup plan to meet your needs.
Moreover, if you put your entire passive income away as savings, you can easily create a luxurious retirement plan for yourself and enjoy your old age relaxing with your family.
Most importantly, your photography passive income stream does not need to be unique and out of the box. You can easily take some extra creative shots while doing a wedding shoot or a birthday shoot. Later, you can submit them to magazines and stock libraries for money.
That’s just one of the long list of ideas available for those wondering how to make passive income as a photographer. If you find the prospect appealing, here are some steps you should follow to generate photography passive income right away.
Step 1 – Conduct Thorough Market Research
To formulate a profitable photography passive income strategy, you’ll need to know what’s in demand. If you sell or market photos and services that the masses connect with, you’ll increase your chances of gaining popularity and making more money.
If you’re planning to sell stock photos, templates, or editing presets, look at the most downloaded ones on well-known sites. According to my research, the most in-demand images and editing templates are from the following genres.
- Quotes backgrounds
Similarly, you can check Google and YouTube search for the most-searched queries related to your profession.
For example, if you think photo editing is something people want to learn themselves, you can create resources like courses or e-books about the topic. Similarly, you can also deal with such topics on your personal blog or YouTube channel and earn money through monetization.
Choosing a profitable niche will make sure you have ample audience to target on the internet and increase your chances of generating a steady passive income.
Step 2 – Look Up Professionals from the Field
Once you pick the strategy you’re going to take, try looking up professionals who’ve already done the deed and are making good money.
Find out how much they earn per photograph to know how much photo volume you have to generate to create a steady income stream.
On average, you can earn anywhere from $0.25-$0.75 every time someone downloads your photo. This means you’ll have to upload at least a hundred pictures every month to earn a considerable side income.
Besides that, if you’re thinking about other innovative passive income methods like blogging or creating resources, you should check popular photography blogs.
Figure out how they manage to attract enough audiences to monetize their content. Apart from focusing on the main aspects such as topics and material, learn from how popular bloggers add a personalized touch to keep their followers hooked.
Step 3 – Start with Beginner’s Photography Apps
There are many apps for photographers to make money. Once you decide on a passive income strategy and improve it by learning from the pros, sign up on some of these apps to kickstart your venture.
Apps like Foap let you upload photos taken from your phone. Simply get creative in your free time and check your earning potential before starting to try for the big fish.
Similarly, if you’re aiming to become an influencer, try to revamp your Instagram page to market yourself as a professional. This is the first step to gain popularity on the internet.
If you get a positive response from the masses, that’s your green signal to post your content on your own website or blog and earn passive income.
Step 4 – Establish Your Photography Passive Income Stream
After practicing on beginner apps and platforms, you’ll know what your audience wants and what kind of content you should create to maximize your income.
Now it’s time to dive right into the industry and rub shoulders with the most famous photographers on the internet. If you’re selling photos, diversify your technique by posting your photos on multiple platforms.
Similarly, you can take up other passive income options on online freelancing sites. These include becoming a part-time photographer, photo editor, photography blogger, and much more.
If you’re looking at making passive income as a photographer, these are the necessary steps you should follow to live your dreams. Establishing a good income stream for yourself does sound complicated, but I never said it would be easy.
Just put your mind to it and use your free time productively. The initial hustle will eventually pay off, and you’ll be able to enjoy yourself to the fullest.
While the four steps mentioned above are a versatile answer for how to make a passive income as a photographer, let’s get more specific. Here are some options you could try out to make photography passive income following the steps above.
Ways to Earn Money Through Photography
After going through our step-by-step guide for how to make passive income as a photographer, you probably know which technique you’re going to use.
Even if you don’t, there’s no reason to worry. I’ve listed down the best passive income ideas for photographers in this guide so you can choose one that suits your skillset and personality. So let’s get started.
1. Offer Photography Packages
Let’s face it, with the abundance of creative photographers available; the market is quite saturated at the moment. You cannot hope to stand out just by advertising your photographs.
That’s because clients have many options to choose from, and they consider all aspects, including the price, quality, and customer service provided by the photographer.
However, if you make things easier for your clients, your services might become more approachable and hassle-free. An accessible way to do this is by creating well-defined photography packages.
The packages should include everything from the
- Photo editing services
- The hours you’ll provide
- The gear you’ll bring
This way, your customers will get an exact representation of everything they’ll get by hiring you as a part-time photographer. Creating a comprehensive package will make sure you get recurrent photography projects to increase your passive income.
Here are some popular freelance platforms where you can advertise your photography packages and land high-paying clients.
SolidGigs is a legit platform where you can connect with high-paying clients who need your services. Usually, to get hired as a part-time photographer, you would have to advertise yourself on the internet and scrounge through endless job lists in your Google search.
However, SolidGigs makes the job easier for you by pumping out weekly gig lists of clients that fit your needs. All you have to do is provide your location, profession, overall rates, and working hours.
The site will use your details to round up only 10-15 of the most relevant job offers for you. After that, you can pitch these clients and start working to generate a passive income.
Although SolidGigs charges a small premium for its services, it is quite productive if you want to save your time and earn money through photography.
Fiverr is one of the best freelancing sites for those wondering how to make passive income as a photographer. The site helps you connect with hundreds of interested clients on its platform for free.
You can post your own gigs and packages, including your photography portfolio, and describing the services you’ll provide for different price ranges. This way, whenever a client searches for a similar service, your gig will immediately pop up.
Besides that, photographers looking for passive income can find different money-making opportunities on the platform as well.
For instance, you can find many photography-related jobs apart from even photography. This includes jobs like food styling, product photography, photo development, and editing.
Fiverr charges a small commission from the payments you receive on the platform, but you can sign up, create a gig, and search through job opportunities for free.
2. Sell Stock Photos
Selling stock photos is one of the most accessible passive income opportunities for photographers. If you’re already spending your day taking pictures of events, wildlife, or products, you probably have amazing high-quality photos just lying around on your devices.
Why not use these photos to earn some extra money on the side? After you get started, you can even take some additional photos at every photography session to make sure you upload enough photos every month to generate a steady income.
You can sell your photos on sites like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. However, you’ll only earn a few cents every time someone downloads your photograph, so you’ll have to be patient and work consistently.
As you build a reputation for yourself on these sites, more people will be attracted to your profile resulting in more income in the future.
If you’re seriously considering stock photography as a passive income, here are some tips you should keep in mind. First of all, try to photograph things that capture your interest, that way, you’ll never get bored of the job.
Secondly, make sure you size your image according to the requirements of the platform. Otherwise, your image will get rejected, and you’ll end up wasting your time.
Thirdly, don’t forget to add relevant keywords to generate the correct exposure for your work. Most importantly, keep up with the latest trends to make sure the photos you upload are always in demand.
3. Photograph for Online Lodging Sites
Believe it or not, but if you’re wondering how to make a passive income as a photographer, online lodging sites can be the answer for you. Let’s face it; no one needs to make their rental homes look beautiful and enticing more than these businesses.
The best part is, they hire professional photographers regularly to take photos of the lodgings provided by their hosts. If a host requests a photography session, these sites will connect them to the nearest photographers available.
Especially if you live in a major city with lots of tourist attractions, this can prove a lucrative side hustle for you. Here are the most popular sites you can check for photography gigs.
I’ve yet to come across a millennial tourist who isn’t familiar with Airbnb. The website provides affordable lodgings for backpackers and family vacationers who want a cozy living environment away from home.
Similarly, Airbnb also provides a source of income to those who have spare space in their homes. Most of the time, these hosts aren’t great at taking photographs of their rooms that do justice to space.
That’s where you come in. If you live in places where the site offers photography services, you can register on their website.
They will interview you, verify your talent, and give you an Airbnb ID. After that, whenever a host applies for a professional photo shoot in your area, the platform will contact you and pay you a handsome income.
If you’re interested in earning photography passive income by taking appealing pictures of homes and rooms, you should sign-up on Vrbo. The site offers professional photography services for its users, increasing their popularity and getting more guests.
All you have to do is determine whether the platform operates and provides this service in your area. If it does, you can start by registering yourself and providing your photography portfolio for evaluation.
Furthermore, if you don’t want to sign-up for online lodging websites, you can easily take professional photographs of people’s homes for money.
If you live in a popular tourist destination, just advertise yourself on social media or spread word of mouth. This way, people can approach you directly to photograph their homes for Airbnb and Vrbo, and you can get the full payment without the website keeping their own commission.
4. Become a Photography Blogger
Blogging is one of the most popular methods of earning money online. And if you’re already working as a photographer, you can easily create content related to your profession and make some passive income.
Wait, I am not saying you should go on about your day and tell people about your photoshoots. Instead, target the niches that people want to know about.
For example, you can write about your photography techniques and editing methods. This way, people who can’t afford professional photography services all the time can benefit from your blog, and you can even get more clients to work for.
You can also target the photographers’ community by reviewing your photography gear or providing tutorials about essential products.
The primary way to make money from a blog is by creating high-quality content consistently. Once you start getting enough daily traffic on your website, there are many ways to monetize it for money.
You can place ads through Google Adsense or use affiliate marketing to make money through your blog. Moreover, you can use your blog to promote your photography services and sell your own merch.
5. Sell Digital Goods
Another way to make passive income as a photographer is by selling digital goods online. These include Photoshop Filters and Lightroom Presets that you’ve created yourself.
If you’re an established photographer, you’re probably spending half of your time editing your photos. Advanced photo editing techniques provide a larger-than-life look to typical photographs and make them more appealing.
Most of the time, amateur photographers who’re still learning the ropes need help while editing photos. That’s where these digital products come in.
Why don’t you use the time you put in to create these valuable digital assets to make some money online? The process is relatively easy. You can advertise your presets and filters on your blog, website, or social media pages.
Here, your audience can access your goods and contact you if they’re interested in purchasing them from you. The best part about this income stream is that you’ve already worked on it while editing your own photos, so the income is entirely passive.
6. Rent Your Photography Gear
I know what you’re thinking; professional photographers rarely take any days off. That’s because most events are held over the weekends, and the holidays get taken up by travel photoshoots.
However, if you’re a part-time photographer wondering how to make passive income as a photographer, you could rent out your gear to someone who needs it.
Let’s face it, high-quality photography gear is outrageously expensive, so if you own some, you’re practically sitting on a gold mine. Even if you use your camera or lens daily, you can rent out your spare camera or gear if you have some and earn considerable passive income.
There are many beginners out there who’ll pay good money to get their hands on your gear to practice and refine their game. You can advertise your equipment online or hand out flyers around your neighborhood to land regular rental clients.
Even if you rent out your gear once or twice a week, you’ll be able to make enough to pay off your camera expenses in no time.
7. Share Your Knowledge
While blogging about your experiences and techniques as a photographer is an excellent way to generate passive income, there are other ways to share your knowledge for money.
Apart from gaining money through monetization, you can create digital resources for aspiring photographers and sell them online. These resources include courses, webinars, tutorials, and ebooks.
But it’s not that easy. The resources you create should provide value to your buyers to generate a good rating. One bad rating and your resource will disappear in oblivion.
It does require some initial hustle, but you can generate legit passive income through these resources.
Similarly, you can even apply as an online tutor for photography on sites like Udemy and Skillshare. Tutors can earn anywhere around $100-$1000 depending on their content’s productivity and popularity.
A good idea before jumping into teaching about photography is building good credibility for yourself in the field. Only then will people flock around to pay and learn your skill.
Establish a good fan following yourself on Instagram and Facebook, and promote your blog to get more traffic.
8. Participate in Photography Contests
This is perhaps the easiest way to earn passive income through photography and the most difficult one at the same time.
As a professional photographer, there are many photo contests which you can enter online and win amazing prizes. Most of these contests are based on specific topics and genres of photography, so you may have to put in some extra work.
However, if you have a photo you particularly like, you can turn it in and try your luck. Even if you don’t win, your image containing your watermark will stay on the website.
This will attract more business and followers in the long run. And if you do manage to win, you’ll quickly hit a photography jackpot. Most competitions pay anywhere around $500-$1000 as prize money.
Can Photographers Make Passive Income?
Yes, photographers can make good passive income whether they’re taking up photography as a hobby or as their primary income source. In my guide for how to make passive income as a photographer, I’ve provided a step-by-step guide followed by a list of passive income options.
So, if you’re wondering do photographers make good money, yes, they do. However, just like other jobs, their work requires conviction, hard work, and a lot of creativity.
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